Somewhere deep inside an official office in the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Pam Bondi the Attorney General, sat in deep concentration. She had been bothered by a feeling and she didn’t quite know what it was. But it was a deep and tortuous feeling that something was going awry in her beloved Sunshine State. Each notion had been building like thought atoms speeding around the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva but never quite meeting.
At that point she didn’t realize that on her last trip around the state still pushing for the defeated ‘Defense of marriage Act’, she had lost some of her souvenir ‘Florida Destinations’ playing cards and wasn’t playing with a full deck.
The 3 times married Bondi looked upon marriage as a sacred vow between a man and his woman and is currently engaged to ophthalmologist Greg Henderson. They professed their undying love and commitment to each other with an unofficial (non-binding) ceremony in the Cayman Islands on May 26, 2012.
In court documents filed by her office she contends that “Florida’s marriage laws have a close, direct, and rational relationship to society’s legitimate interest in increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by the mothers and fathers who produced them in stable and enduring family units.”
In ‘protecting’ traditional Florida marriage, she may have overlooked the fact that Florida consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the U.S. In fact 4 cities in Florida are among the top 10 in the country for divorce with a rate of 15% in heterosexual marriages dropping to a 1% average for gay and lesbian couples.
Let’s not even mention that the state doesn’t adequately fund programs for at risk children from the dissolution of marriages and the children born out of wedlock, the poor, infirm and the wards of a state system ripped apart by neglect and lax oversight.
With a contention that out-of-state legal civil same-sex marriages would “impose significant public harm” she took action to bar them. She may have not been thinking about the kind of harm that needed a band aid and mommy’s kiss to make it better, but a more significant ‘harm’ that would, well, do ‘something’ to other marriages.
At this point, that has not been made clear by the Attorney General but give her time. She’ll stick both her feet so far into her mouth that she’ll need a doctor’s care for ‘athlete’s throat.’ It won’t be under the auspices of the expanded Medicaid program for the poor and infirm initially offered free to the state through the ACA that she helped squash.
Meanwhile in a bar far away in the southernmost reaches of the State, at the end of the land in the Florida Keys, 2 men, ‘Adam and Steve’ had fallen deeply in Love. Bartenders Aaron Huntsman and William lee Jones, together 11 years, applied for a marriage license and were turned down. They then sued Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin.
Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled On Thursday the 17th that Florida’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and ordered Heavilin to issue a license to the plaintiffs Huntsman and Jones. This was the 25th consecutive ruling by a federal or state court in favor of gay marriage.
It may have been at that precise moment that Bondi realized man/woman marriage was in jeopardy so she went to the Miami based Third District Court of Appeal and triggered an automatic stay. Judge Garcia can lift the automatic stay or wait until the appeals process is over.
The Florida Keys will then have an influx of marriage tourism, an economic boost to beleaguered Keys business with lots of hotel guests and happy campers.
At that point Pam Bondi should contemplate joining the rest of America in a forward moving stream of consciousness or concentrate on the past.